Brought to you by President Bush, who apparently couldn't think of a better country to seek up to 20,000 students a year from than Saudi fucking Arabia. The arguments against Saudis are familiar: they act like arrogant landlords when they're guests in this country; they enjoy freedoms here that they deny us there; they don't respect women; they have no sense of personal responsibility because their ride is fully funded by their government; and young Saudi males are dangerous by definition, as fundamentalist Wahhabis who have been raised to hate Americans, Jews, and anyone who isn't a Muslim. Another Bush administration domestic policy triumph. A really cunning President would ask for 20,000 female Saudi students.
After the terrorist attacks of 9/11, the number of students from Saudi Arabia dwindled in the United States.
In the wake of the revelation that 15 of the 19 hijackers were Saudi nationals, the number of new students arriving in the United States plummeted from more than 4,000 in 2001 to 1,008 in 2005, according to the U.S. State Department.
But a program initiated by President Bush and Saudi King Abdullah has brought about 10,000 new students to U.S. colleges during the current academic year, bringing the number of Saudi students for the fall semester of 2006 to 10,936.
The previous high mark for Saudis studying in the United States was 10,440, in the 1980-'81 school year, according to the International Institute of Education, a New York-based nonprofit group.
An additional 3,000 Saudi students are expected for the semester beginning in January. Most of the Saudi students are fully funded by scholarships from their government.
Nail Al-Jubeir, spokesman for the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia in Washington, D.C., said the leaders of the two nations are committed to reversing the recent trend of Saudi students staying out of the United States.
"Hopefully, the goal is to get something like 20,000 in the United States in all fields," Al-Jubeir said.